The Salem basketball team will have more game before taking off for Christmas, but the break won’t be long. Salem is entered in the K-Guard Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament at the Salem Civic Center next week.
The Spartans will play Christiansburg at home this Friday, and that won’t be a piece of cake. Salem coach Kevin Garst says the Demons have a talented team.
“They’re really good,” he said. “We saw them a lot over the summer and they shoot well and they’re very athletic.”
Next week Salem is in the Christmas Tournament at the Civic Center, and the Spartans will open with William Fleming. The Colonels are likely the favorite to win it and Salem will see them first at 3 pm Thursday, December 28. Other first round games have Hidden Valley against Lord Botetourt, Jefferson Forest against Broadway and Cave Spring against Floyd County.
“The top half of the bracket is a little tougher, but it’s Cave Spring’s tournament so they can play who they want in the first round,” said Garst.
Salem is 1-5 overall after losing at home to Patrick Henry on Tuesday, 62-36. The Spartans were only down eight at the half but the Patriots turned it off after intermission.
“We didn’t play terrible,” said Garst. “We came out in the second half and had four or five great defensive possessions but we couldn’t get the ball to bounce our way. Their size took over in the fourth quarter, but I saw a lot of positives that we can build on.”
Chance Staples had nine points to lead the Spartans while Isaiah Donaldson and Garrison Conner had seven each.
Salem split two games against Blue Ridge District teams last week. The Spartans lost at home to Northside, 89-29, in a game that was never close. The undefeated Vikings are pounding everyone, so that’s no disgrace.
On Friday in Daleville Salem bounced back with a 62-53 win over Lord Botetourt. Alex Blanchard had 21 points to lead the Spartans and Donaldson had 11.
“The kids played hard,” said Garst. “It wasn’t one of our better games but they battled and came out with the win.”